Use this announcement bar to draw your user’s attention to important updates and deals.

Individualized Hormone Therapy—A Balanced Approach to Treatment

Medically Reviewed by

Every middle-aged man and woman will experience physical changes as a result of fluctuating hormone levels and the natural course of aging. The type of treatment prescribed depends a lot on the physician treating hormone-related symptoms, and the needs of the individual patient. While some physicians may successfully manage mood-related disorders, loss of libido, vasomotor and genitourinary symptoms, each individual is unique, so there is no “one-size fits all” approach to hormone treatment.

Individualized Hormone Therapy Can Help

Hormone therapy helps enhance mood, build strength and muscle (men), increase energy levels, reduce night sweats and hot flashes, relieve vaginal dryness, and increase libido.[2]

For the treatment of menopause and andropause (male menopause), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the current approach to helping men and women balance hormones once again, and regain much of the function that stable levels provide. Individualized hormone therapy considers each person’s specific health needs, available treatment options, and treatment modalities. In some cases, the side effects of hormone therapy outweigh the intended benefits. Some individuals may be prone to certain health conditions or cancers and therefore not good candidates for conventional hormone therapies. In other cases, individuals are allergic, or do not tolerate certain delivery methods for medication.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapies

According to the Endocrine Society, bioidentical hormones are “compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body.” These may be plant derived and utilized in individualized hormone therapies to meet the needs of particular patients.[4]

Types of treatment available:

  • Hormone therapy—Doctors may prescribe low dose estrogen, or estrogen with progestin (for women who still have their uterus). Men may undergo testosterone replacement therapy to increase levels of the male hormone.
  • Vaginal estrogen—This works to relieve vaginal dryness and urinary symptoms.
  • Antidepressants—These may help decrease hot flashes and mood disorders.
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)—This may help reduce hot flashes for women who cannot take estrogen therapy.

Medication may be prescribed to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures in individuals.[7]

*Hormone replacement therapy is available for both men and women. Estrogen and progesterone are most commonly used to treat women, while testosterone therapy is most often prescribed for males. Hormone replacement therapy should be administered in the lowest effective dosage, for the shortest period of time possible to help treat uncomfortable symptoms, or help prevent certain medical conditions such as osteoporosis.[3]

Individualized Hormone therapy for women can help:

  • Decrease hot flashes and night sweats
  • Promote better sleep
  • Reduce irritability/mood swings
  • Reduce vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse
  • Reduce or slow bone loss[5]

Risks of Hormone Therapy for Women

Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of a number of medical conditions including:

  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Breast Cancer
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Endometrial cancer

Individualized Hormone therapy for men can:

  • Increase libido
  • Increase energy level
  • Increase bone density
  • Build strength and muscle mass
  • Have cardioprotective effects
  • Improve mood

Risks of testosterone therapy for men include:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Liver toxicity
  • Infertility
  • Liver tumor
  • Skin diseases
  • Worsening sleep apnea
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Worsening congestive heart failure[1]

How is individualized hormone therapy delivered?

Female hormone therapy may be delivered in the form of creams, gels, patches, pills, sublingually (under tongue), through suppositories, or rings, depending on the particular hormone. Testosterone is delivered to men through tablets, injections, transdermal patches, pellets, and oral preparations absorbed through the cheek.[6]

Testing to Determine if Individualized Hormone Therapy is Necessary

Male testing

By using the male hormone panel, doctors can determine if there is a hormone balance with DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone, estradiol and progesterone. This is administered by using a small saliva sample to reflect tissue concentrations of hormones.

Female testing

Saliva testing continues to be the most accurate measurement of Cortisol, DHEA, Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Saliva testing measures hormones at the cellular level, while blood tests identify circulating hormone levels in the bloodstream.

As men and women age, hormone levels naturally fluctuate, depending on the needs of the body. Once changes occur, hormone-related symptoms emerge. These must be treated with the individual in mind. Seeking individualized hormone therapy is the first step toward renewed health and wellness for many.


Get thoughtful, spam-free articles direct to your inbox every week.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Continue reading